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Based on a more realistic portrayal of "Arthur" than has ever been presented onscreen. The film will focus on the history and politics of the period during which Arthur ruled -- when the Roman empire collapsed and skirmishes over power broke out in outlying countries -- as opposed to the mystical elements of the tale on which past Arthur films have focused. Written by
The film was originally envisioned and shot as an R-rated film with corresponding graphic violence. However, after the picture had been edited, Disney executives demanded it be changed to a PG-13, hence necessitating a lot of effects work to remove the blood from the battle scenes. Director Antoine Fuqua and producer Jerry Bruckheimer were not at all pleased with this decision and fought against it, but were ultimately overruled. They were both disappointed with the theatrical release and later released a much more violent Director's Cut on DVD. However, according to Fuqua's commentary track, even the Director's Cut version is considerably less violent than his ideal version. Ironically, when the film was released, one of the biggest criticisms was that the battles were mysteriously bloodless, hence undermining any sense of realism. See more »
In the opening battle Arthur beheads a Woad from horseback, swinging his sword diagonally downwards. When the headless body is shown, the neck stump is angled the wrong way as if he had swung upwards. See more »
By 300 AD, the Roman Empire extended from Arabia to Britain. But they wanted more. More land. More peoples loyal and subservient to Rome. But no people so important as the powerful Sarmatians to the east. Thousands died on that field. And when the smoke cleared on the fourth day, the only Sarmatian soldiers left alive were members of the decimated but legendary cavalry. The Romans, impressed by their bravery and horsemanship, spared their lives. In exchange, these ...
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There are no opening credits, not even the production company and studio bumpers, only the title. See more »
I have just seen King Arthur and what a disappointment! I have seen heaps of movies, and I am able to stomach a lot, having enjoyed mediocre films like, Van Helsing for instance. Van Helsing at least was silly, but had no pretensions of being anything else, King Arthur on the other hand, is a little movie, very predictable, filled with plot clichés that you have seen in countless other motion pictures, but has pretensions of being something extraordinary. Well, surprise, surprise it is not! There is not even enough camp in this movie to grant it a sort of je ne se quois to make it enjoyable. Even the soundtrack is a rip off of Gladiator, without even fitting the movie adequately. Hans Zimmer should know better than to copy/paste from is own work, some of us might notice!
Most of the acting is pretty good. I have especially enjoyed Ioan Gruffud as Lancelot and Clive Owen and Arthur, both of them make a very good effort given the silly lines they have, especially Owen who's lines are extra silly. Most of the actors are competent with the exception of Til Schweiger as Cynric and I felt that such a great actor as Stephen Dillane (Merlin) was completely wasted and given no chance to show is quality.
The direction was pretty bad and uneven. Antoine Fucqua doesn't show the talent he has demonstrated in Training day or even Tears of the Sun, the movie is a mess from start to finish. Visually, I must admit, it looks good. Slawomir Idziak's cinematography is really good and I hope to see some of his work in the future.
I have a lot more problems with this movie which I won't detail much further, with the exception of two that I cannot overlook. First of all, trebuches (the catapult thingies) were invented by the French during the 100 year old war, several centuries later, and not by Merlin. In a movie that brags about historical realism and accuracy, this strikes as odd. Besides, if Merlin had this kind of weapons, why not used it against the Romans in the first place? Another gripe, and this a big one, is the complete absence of gore! Did people in the "Dark Ages" not have blood? The battle scenes are violent but no blood! What's the point? Again if you want to have a realistic take on this period of history, why the absence of realism in the battle scenes? Do the filmmakers think that a PG-13 rating will get them more money at the box-office? Having seen this mess I seriously doubt it!
Summarizing, this movie is a complete mess with the exception of some of the performances, namely the Knights and most of all Gruffud's and Owen's acting. As for the rest, it is dumb, predictable, not very original in terms of plot and a complete disappointment! Long live Excalibur (John Boorman) that with it's 23 years it is still the best Kig Arthur story in movie history.
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